National COVID-19 lockdown and other updates
The latest campus announcement provides information about the national lockdown, updates by the UCT leadership, and an update about confirmed cases of COVID-19 at UCT. It also encourages members of the UCT community to check the COVID-19 feature page on the UCT News website.
Research and postgraduate work during lockdown
Although UCT has halted all research in the laboratory, studio or field, research remains as active as possible using communications and networking technology. For data-intensive research, UCT’s virtual private network (VPN) should be used to access campus systems.
Laptops will be distributed to identified students. Please complete the Student Access Survey, which will help the university understand students’ connectivity status and to prioritise according to need.
UCT is working to secure finances for postgraduates with time-limited funding, and the Postgraduate Funding Office will ensure that bursaries and scholarships are paid and applications for new and renewed funding processed. Universities South Africa and UCT are liaising with funders to secure funding for soft-funded researchers.
Principal investigators must please respond to an email from Research, Contracts & Innovation (RC&I) distributed last week about research contracts and the likelihood of delays.
While UCT is conducting innovative COVID-19 research to address this pandemic, it’s essential that the need for benefit doesn’t outweigh the risk according to regulatory processes and lockdown rules.
Support for staff health and wellness
While university operations are continuing virtually and online wherever possible, the UCT executive wants to ensure that all staff remain healthy, both physically and mentally. The UCT Human Resources department has been working to further increase the availability of, and access to, counselling services to support the mental health of our staff through this period of lockdown and remote working.
Important: Student access survey & conditions for receiving a loan laptop
As the university leadership prepares to continue academic work in the context of COVID-19, it is vital that we understand your circumstances, and that we explain clearly how we as the leadership are able to help.
We are asking ALL STUDENTS to complete the Student Access Survey as soon as possible.
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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global pandemic that caused President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a national disaster in South Africa on 15 March. This was followed by the implementation of a national lockdown, which has been in effect since midnight on 26 March and has recently been extended to 30 April. The intention of this drastic measure is to “flatten the curve” and contain the spread of the coronavirus to enable healthcare workers to more effectively treat those affected.
UCT is taking the threat of infection in our university community extremely seriously, and this page will be updated regularly with the latest COVID-19 information.
Getting credible, evidence-based, accessible information and recommendations relating to COVID-19
The Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, are producing educational video material for use on digital platforms and in multiple languages. The information contained in these videos is authenticated and endorsed by the team of experts based in the Department of Medicine. Many of the recommendations are based on current best evidence and are aligned to provincial, national and international guidelines. For more information on UCT’s Department of Medicine, please visit the website.
To watch more videos like these, visit the Department of Medicine’s YouTube channel.
As the COVID-19 crisis drags on and evolves, civil society groups are responding to growing and diversifying needs – just when access to resources is becoming more insecure, writes UCT’s Prof Ralph Hamann.03 Jul 2020 - 6 min read Republished
The Covid-19 crisis has reinforced the global consequences of fragmented, inadequate and inequitable healthcare systems and the damage caused by hesitant and poorly communicated responses.24 Jun 2020 - >10 min read Opinion
Our scientists must not practise in isolation, but be encouraged to be creative and increase our knowledge of the needs of developing economies, write Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, vice-chancellor of UCT, and Professor Thokozani Majozi from the University of the Witwatersrand.09 Jun 2020 - 6 min read Republished
South Africa has been recognised globally for its success in flattening the curve, which came as a result of President Ramaphosa responding quickly to the crisis, writes Prof Alan Hirsch.28 Apr 2020 - 6 min read Republished
In an email to the UCT community, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said:
“COVID-19, caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, is a rapidly changing epidemic. [...] Information [...] will be updated as and when new information becomes available.”
We are continuing to monitor the situation and we will be updating the UCT community regularly – as and when there are further updates. If you are concerned or need more information, students can contact the Student Wellness Service on 021 650 5620 or 021 650 1271 (after hours), while staff can contact 021 650 5685.